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Pumping gas is a real pain. It involves actually getting out of your car, moving the muscles in your legs and arms and surrounding yourself with outside air. But one company plans to introduce robotic gas pumps in St. Louis, which would do all the work for drivers. Husky Corporation, based in Pacific, Mo., has developed such a pump that should be ready for regulatory testing in about nine months, reports local Fox affiliate KTVI.
"We already have drive-thru McDonalds, drive-thru banks and drive-thru car washes," Husky executive Brad Baker told KTVI. Why not robotic gas pumps?
This is how the machine works, as KTVI explains:
Infrared lights and cameras locate the fuel door. An arm with a suction cup opens the fuel door. A nozzle then extends into the fuel tank and releases the desired amount of fuel. Once the tank is full, the nozzle returns to the pump.
Baker said that he envisions the system with a touch-screen display, allowing drivers to select what kind of gas they want. A phone-based app could then be used for payment (not sure why one coudn't pay with a credit card, as with an ATM). The pumps were developed in cooperation with Swedish company Fuelmatics Systems and are expected to cost about $50,000 each. For what it's worth, there are already functioning robotic pumps in the Netherlands.
African black rhinoceros (CNN)
In an updated list of threatened species released today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, The Western Black Rhinoceros has been declared extinct. The black rhino subspecies was last seen in western Africa in 2006.
The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa's northern white rhino is "teetering on the brink of extinction" while Asia's Javan rhino is "making its last stand" due to continued poaching and lack of conservation.[CNN]
Under that mask? Modern Warfare 2.
Whenever a new Call of Duty comes out there’s plenty of snarky commentary online about how the game is just more of the same. A copy-and-paste if you will. Of course nobody’s speaking literally when they say these things — Activision wouldn’t actually directly copy-and-paste content into a game that’s pretty much guaranteed to make billions of dollars, right?
Well, evidence is mounting they’ve done just with Call of Duty: Ghosts. A YouTube user has posted video evidence that Activision has lifted the animation and staging of a scene from Modern Warfare 2, re-skinned it and dropped it whole cloth into Call of Duty: Ghosts. Check out the evidence below…
Pretty damning, and I’m guessing it’s not the only example. I mean, if Activision is doing this to save time/money, what would be the point of only doing it once? Some people are saying it’s an Easter egg, but what kind of lame Easter egg is that? Hey guys, remember that time somebody picked you up off the ground in Modern Warfare 2?! Come on.
Well, we all instinctively know that there is nothing close to being soft, sweet or lovable under the skin of the evil feline. So what are you to do if you are given the unfortunate task of making a cake that shows what you’ll find under her matted fur? You make exactly what you imagined you’d find, and that would result in something along the lines of a Hello Kitty Terminator cake:
Of course, the scary part is that we know exactly that her goal is exactly the same as the Terminator’s goal of world domination, although the mouthless wonder goes about it in a much more cruel and devastating way by inflicting far more pain and cruelty than any Terminator could ever inflict. And the worst part is that this knowledge simply confirms the horror of another average day when it comes to living in Hello Kitty Hell…
Sent in by Julie (via Between The Pages)
Experts from the Danish National History Museum have warned that pacus -- a relative of the piranha -- have been spotted in the Danish/Swedish Øresund channel. The pacu has been known to bite swimmers, and have been known to attack men's testicles, because "testicles sit nicely in their mouth." So men are being cautioned to avoid nude swimming in the channel, though the museum's Henrik Carl stresses that the risk is not very high, in the grand scheme of things: "You're more likely to drown than get your nuts bitten off."
“The pacu is not normally dangerous to people but it has quite a serious bite, there have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea, where some men have had their testicles bitten off,” said Henrik Carl, a fish expert at the Danish museum, speaking to The Local, an English-language newspaper in Sweden.
“They bite because they're hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth,” he told the paper.
Carl was keen to tell swimmers not to worry too much. “You're more likely to drown than get your nuts bitten off,” he said.
Men in Sweden warned after sighting of testicle-eating fish [Nick Renaud-Komiya/The Independent]
(Image: Rosarinagazo/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA)
Alarm systems are pretty expensive, but if you want to whip up something on your own, Make shows off how to build a very simple alarm system with a Raspberry Pi.
Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Maple is the unofficial wood of baseball. Thanks to good old Barry Bonds, who used maple bats in his 2001 marathon home-run season, players increasingly favor the lighter wood, which according to one collector, just has "more pop" than other bat materials like ash.
More than half of all baseball bats sold to major-league teams last year were maple, and the MLB wants to make sure every batter stepping up to the plate isn't wielding a ticking wooden time bomb, so they've teamed up with U.S. Forest Service scientists to figure out how to make maple bats safer.
The scientists found that the more the cut of the wood strayed from the original grain, the more likely the bat was to shatter, The New York Times reports. The baseball league altered regulations to require that the grain in the bat not deviate from the original grain of the wood by more than 3 percent, as well as adding minimum densities and weight-to-length ratios. Black ink was added to the wood to make the grain easier to follow.
It seems to be paying off. The rate of shattered bats has dropped for the past four years. Around 1,200 bats shattered in players' hands last year, compared to 2,500 in 2008. The average "multipiece failures per game," i.e. the number of bats that shatter into a million shrapnel pieces, has gone down from 1.0 in 2008 to 0.47 to 2013.
Surprise! Nintendo has just announced that Earthbound is out on the Wii U's Virtual Console today. It'll cost you $10.
On discovering the valuable comics glued to the chicken wire frame, [comic book store owner Steve Eyre] said: "First of all I thought 'Fantastic' as, visually, it is a beautiful thing, but then as I walked round it, certainly on the inside right leg, there was a cover of Avengers number one. "I've got a copy of that, which was published in 1963, that is worth well over £10,000. "Then I started looking and there are six comics on this that together would be worth, even in the condition you can see, £20,000. Laughing off the revelation, Mr Vickers said: "If somebody chucks things out in the skip they don't generally throw things out that are worth anything. "To be honest I'm shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny. "I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less. I think it's brilliant."Brilliant, huh? I mean it might have been 'brilliant' if you knowingly made the sculpture out of rare comic books. But there is no brilliance in ignorance, Andrew -- only bliss. Also, 'Money has not got such a value for me'? So you don't care about the money, it's all about creating art -- I get it. *eying sculpture* Do you by chance live in a van? Thanks to carey, who only makes paper mache sculptures out of the funny pages the way God intended.
An infant gets a vaccination in the thigh, Dekalb County, Georgia, 1977
Jenny McCarthy-savvy, telegenic, and pulchritudinous-is joining the popular daytime talk show "The View."
McCarthy is a strident proponent of not vaccinating kids, as she believes vaccinations made her son autistic. Now, many scientists and science writers are worried she'll use her new job to spread the word. News of her hire comes less than a week after the end of an outbreak of measles in Wales, precipitated by the low measles vaccination rates there, that sickened more than 1,200 and killed one 25-year-old man.
What if McCarthy's new platform really does bring on a resurgence of unscientific, anti-vaccination beliefs? Here at Popular Science, we wanted to be prepared. We've made a guide for you to help you refute common anti-vaccine questions and claims. Ready, set...
CLAIM: Historically, recommended vaccines have been shown to harm children. Why would today's recommendations be any different?
Yes, some older vaccines had severer side effects than current ones do. I'll look at two examples, polio and pertussis, which is commonly known as whooping cough.
No one has gotten polio from the newer polio vaccine.Before 2000, pediatricians in the U.S. routinely gave kids a polio vaccine that contained live, attenuated polio virus. Now, American kids get a vaccine with an "inactivated," or killed, virus. Very rarely, the live virus in the older vaccine could actually revert to its natural state and cause paralysis, a tragic consequence.
Some people in the world still deal with this risk. Live, attenuated polio vaccines are used in some regions where polio is endemic because those who get the live, attenuated vaccine are able to pass on their immunity to others around them, which helps spread immunity more quickly. People are also able to take the live, attenuated vaccine by mouth, instead of in a shot, so it's quicker and easier to get to people in regions where there are few doctors and nurses. Different countries must judge the risks and benefits of the oral polio vaccine differently; even the U.S. had once judged the live, attenuated vaccine worth the risk, when there was nothing better available.
No one has gotten polio from the newer polio vaccine.
Before the 1990s, kids in the U.S. got a pertussis vaccine with severe potential side effects ranging from fever to fainting fits. Some parents sued vaccine manufacturers, claiming that the shot caused brain damage. Scientists have since determined that the parents' claim is unproven. U.S. doctors now use a new pertussis vaccine with milder side effects.
Of course, it's up to everyone to decide individually whether the risks of a medicine outweigh its benefits. Consider the numbers around vaccines, though. Often, something like 1 in 1,000 kids experience moderate side effects such as prolonged crying. For more severe side effects, such as seizures or that rotavirus-caused bowel blockage, the odds go down to one in tens of thousands.
Among children who contract measles, one in 1,000 get encephalitis, an acute brain infection, and one or two in 1,000 die. In 2011, among the 18,000 Americans who got whooping cough that year, more than 1 in 2,000 died, all of them babies.
CLAIM: It is dangerous for little babies to get so many vaccines at one time. The immune system can get overwhelmed.
Babies really do get a lot of vaccines at once. Their first round alone includes six shots. And the list of recommended childhood vaccines has grown in recent decades, as researchers have developed more and more immunizations.
States with lenient policies about immunization exemptions had 90 percent more whooping cough cases than stricter states.However, numerous studies have found no link between getting the recommended schedule of vaccines and getting other diseases later in childhood. There's no credible scientific evidence that vaccines are able to "overload" babies' immune systems. Though immature, babies' systems are prepared to handle vaccines. They already handle numerous viruses and bacteria all around them in everyday life.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccines at very young ages because that's when kids are the most vulnerable, as some of the natural immunization they got from breastfeeding fades.
CLAIM: Vaccines have dangerous ingredients in them.
One of McCarthy's--and other vaccine opponents'--most popular claims is that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once common in vaccines, causes autism. There's so much evidence showing thimerosal doesn't cause autism.
Nevertheless, thimerosal no longer appears in any vaccines except influenza because an infant receiving the recommended schedule of old vaccines would get a higher-than-recommended dose of mercury, which is toxic in high levels.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has more information on the ingredients in vaccines. They are not dangerous.
CLAIM: It's not like a parent's decision not to vaccinate his child harms other kids.
Vaccinated kids generally won't get sick from the preventable diseases that they've been inoculated against. However, if a non-vaccinated kid gets sick with a preventable disease, there are still several people he may infect beyond non-vaccinated classmates.
He may infect babies that haven't yet been scheduled to receive their vaccines. He may also infect the small percentage of kids for whom their immunizations don't work, as immunizations aren't 100 percent effective. The measles vaccine, for example, is more than 95 percent effective-very good, but not perfect.
Where kids aren't vaccinated, more people get sick. In 2011, the states with lenient policies about immunization exemptions had 90 percent more whooping cough cases than stricter states, according to the Institute of Medicine.
CLAIM: There's nothing wrong with spacing out my child's vaccines, if I want to.
Delaying a vaccine just means there's that much longer a window for an unimmunized child to get sick. Limiting the number of doctor's visits children need to get all their shots also helps more families stick to the recommended schedule and reduces the costs of vaccination.
Beyond that, however, there's little evidence about which alternative schedules of vaccinations is best and whether alternative schedules are better or worse than the standard schedule. The standard schedule has been studied because the vast majority of U.S. kids get it, but alternative schedules are pretty new and several different alternatives exist, so they are difficult to study. The Institute of Medicine is trying to figure out whether a study of alternative schedules is feasible.
Some delayed schedules celebrities (and celebrity doctors) have endorsed leave out some vaccinations altogether, which leave kids vulnerable to those diseases.
CLAIM: Every medicine has side effects, and I want to protect my kids.
It's always important to know about side effects before deciding to give your kid a vaccine or another medicine.
Most of the side effects of vaccines are mild compared to the illnesses they prevent. Different vaccines may cause temporary fussiness, swelling, prolonged crying and other effects. Some babies get mild vomiting and diarrhea after the DTaP and rotavirus vaccines. (We fully acknowledge that what doctors call "mild vomiting and diarrhea" is not fun to have to take care of.)
Very rarely, kids may be severely allergic to a vaccine. Allergic reactions generally occur within hours of getting a shot. The reaction may be bad enough that a kid can't get the rest of the shots in that series, which means he or she will have to rely on other kids being vaccinated to protect him from that disease.
1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000 babies who get the rotavirus vaccine get a serious bowel blockage for which they have to visit the hospital. Some will need surgery.
This isn't an exhaustive list of the potential side effects of different vaccines, though I've tried to cover the most severe ones. You can find out more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Amanda Kost, 7NEWS
In the small Colorado town of Deer Trail, residents may soon be allowed to shoot down flying robots. The town board is considering an ordinance that would not only permit people with hunting licenses to fire bullets at drones, but would also pay them $100 for each mechanical hide with federal markings.
Sidestepping the fact that destroying government drones like this is a federal crime, bullets fired skyward have a very poor public health record when they plummet back to the ground. Federal policy already rules out armed drone strikes against American citizens within the U.S. (provided the Americans are not enemy combatants) so there's a very real chance that more people would die from missed anti-drone bullets than would be killed by drones domestically.
Of course, that's assuming the point of the anti-drone ordinance is to shoot down drones. Instead, like many attention-grabbing drone stories, this is almost a gimmick of a protest. The permits cost $25, and I wouldn't be surprised if people from all over America bought drone hunting licenses for the novelty or symbolic value. In any case, Predator drones fly at 25,000 feet, or almost ten times higher than the longest confirmed accurate rifle shot fired by a human.
Elsewhere in the Southwest, Texas is solving this problem by prohibiting drone photography, which actually stops surveillance through the radical strategy of banning surveillance.
We go to the effort to say “peanut butter spread” because this product can’t legally be called peanut butter. It doesn’t have enough peanuts. :|
Mary Rose happened to notice that her latest jar of Jif reduced fat peanut butter spread was a little lighter than usual. No, it was because the jar itself had lost some weight. Two ounces, or 11% of the total contents of the jar, to be exact.
By the way, we go to the effort to say “peanut butter spread” because this product can’t legally be called peanut butter. It doesn’t have enough peanuts, making up the lower-fat difference with “corn syrup solids,” sugar, and pea protein. Mmm, proteiny. It’s about 60% peanuts: actual peanut butter has to be at least 90% peanuts by weight.
Hackaday is for sale. Jason Calacanis currently owns the site and wants $500,000 for it. In his post about the sale he talks about how he removed it from the Weblogs Inc sale which is why he still owns it. It currently makes about $14k per month in revenue so if you have some extra cash in your pocket this might be a good investment. If you would like to help Hackaday purchase Hackaday check this out.
Smaller virtual bodies affect how people see the world originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We're all fans of doing your own home improvement work, but sometimes you really need to call a professional to get things done. Whether it's because you'll wind up doing more damage than good or because you just don't have the tools to do the job, this guide will help you make sure you're not wasting your time.
"Cube world has an extremely impressive engine and concept, but it’s a game that’s probably best left to mature a bit before judging. So many great little bits, but it’s missing much of the “game” part at this early stage."
Tired of our usual excursions in Torchlight II, or Minecraft, or wine, Lady Rossignol and I needed something of a fresh video-distraction for the weekend evenings. Having paid little attention to Cube World, but knowing enough about it to say that I was multiplayer, we decided to embark on the perilous path of the alpha.
This is how we got on.
"This is groundbreaking for eSports; now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing." "This was a lengthy process; we had a lot of people fighting for this. It wasn't something that happened overnight," Allen continued. He further explained that Riot went back and forth with the government multiple times before enough evidence was provided to prove that the game is a legitimate sport.Heck yeah! It's about time video gamers receive the professional athlete status they deserve. And I'm not just saying that because this is the best chance I stand of ever becoming a professional athlete, but I did score in the other team's goal playing for my middle school basketball team. Thanks to Fortune, who only video games in athletic shorts.
I am embarrassed that I enjoyed this.
Ps4 vs Xbox One with a surprise winner! West Side Story Musical style!
What will be your console of choice? Let us know in the comments section below!
another mmo, can I take another one?
World of Warcraft is definitely getting an in-game store originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 09 Jul 2013 11:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.